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Belarus' central bank to cut refinancing rate to 10% on 2 May

MINSK ( BelTA) – The National Bank will cut the refinancing rate to 10 % per annum on 2 May 2023. The decision was made by the Board of the National Bank following a meeting on monetary policy, BelTA learned from the National Bank.

The interest rate on overnight loans will be decreased from 11.5 % to 11 %, with the interest rate on overnight deposits down from 9.5 % to 9 % per annum.

The inflationary processes continue to slow down. "As expected, due to the high base effect of last year, the annual increase in consumer prices decreased to 6 % in March 2023 as against 11.7 % a month prior. Trend inflation fell to 6 %, down from 8.9 % a month earlier. Providing there are no further shocks, monthly growth rates of prices in the consumer market are expected to remain low, which will contribute towards a slowdown in the annual inflation in the coming months," the bank said.

Business activity is gradually recovering. "Given the continuing decline in interest rates, banks are expanding credit support to the economy in the national currency. The average rate on new ruble loans from banks and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus to legal entities was reduced to 8.97 % per annum in March 2023. In general, the risks that may significantly affect the inflationary processes in the future are assessed as moderate. Inflation expectations of economic agents, despite the decline, are still high. According to the survey conducted in March 2023, the inflation expected in the next 12 months is down to 12.4 % against 16.7 % in March 2022. The focus is still on restrained savings activity with a simultaneous increase in the share of liquid assets in the overall structure of monetary savings of the population," the National Bank said.

While making decisions on the refinancing rate in the future, the National Bank will take into account the actual and expected inflation rates, internal and external risks and the reaction of financial markets to them.